India is proceeding with its famous Smart Cities Mission, the $7.5 billion initiative to create 100 citizen-friendly and sustainable smart cities across the country by 2020. This ambitious initiative is encountering several difficulties, however, and one case, Lavasa, hailed as India’s first Smart City, offers a cautionary tale.
This report “Reclaiming the Smart City: Personal Data, Trust and the New Commons” was recently published by Nesta, as part of DECODE (DEcentralised Citizen Owned Data Ecosystems), a major EU Horizon 2020 project. Addressing some of the major flaws in how traditional smart city projects have approached data collection and use, it focuses on how and why city governments are taking a more responsible approach to the use of personal data.
The historic city of Trikala, set among the green fields of Greece’s agricultural heartland, with a population of 82,000 people, does not look like a prime candidate for a smart city but it has managed to become the country’s first, piloting many successful smart city projects and providing optimism for the potential of other Greek cities.
Smart cities, which have been exhibiting some impressive technological breakthroughs in the last few years, are a very appealing target for investors, but, despite this, there seems to be a lack of funds focusing on smart cities, even though there a plenty of funds for investing in technology.
The article “Smart City Planning from an Evolutionary Perspective ” by N. Komninos, C. Kakderi, A. Panori and P. Tsarchopoulos was published in the Journal of Urban Technology and focuses on the parallel efforts and initiatives that have been made in the case of Thessaloniki to promote its vision to transform the city into a smart and sustainable place, including ICT solutions fostered by civic communities and individual developers. The study clearly shows that the strategy and actions guided by the vision for an open, global, smart, and resilient city, have been largely shaped by a series of opportunities that appeared gradually over the last few years, both at global and local levels.
A new report, published by Deloitte, investigates how cities can effectively finance smart city projects. Government officials need to understand the projects and their values and then analyse the full range of options for funding, financing, and procurement before choosing the strategies that best fit their situation, according to the report.
The innovations that are being tested and implemented in smart city initiatives across the world, based on means such as data and digital technology in order to make cities more efficient and liveable, come with the danger of deepening inequality by excluding digitally marginalized groups.